May 25th, 2011

Time has a great piece about a new program based in the University of Miami School of Law, named LawWithoutWalls. More from the Chronicle of HIgher Education here. Very cool.

Here is the description:

LawWithoutWalls is a part-virtual, collaborative academic model, created by Michele DeStefano Beardslee and Michael Bossone at the University of Miami School of Law, that brings together students, faculty, practitioners, and entrepreneurs from around the country and the world to innovate legal education and practice. It is motivated by a desire to help those engaged in the education and practice of law to realize the impact our changing world is having upon our shared legal enterprise and to embrace that change to create a resonant, efficient, and sustainable future. Our goal is to jointly develop creative solutions to real problems in the way law is taught and practised.

Students from Fordham Law, Harvard Law, Miami Law, New York Law School, Peking University School of Transnational Law, and University College London Laws are teamed up to identify a problem in legal education or practice. Then, over the semester, the team will develop a Project of Worth that creatively solves the identified issue.  To help reach this goal, student teams are virtually guided by an academic mentor, a practitioner mentor, an entrepreneur advisory board, and a subject expert board to ensure that the Projects of Worth are creative, feasible, and valuable to an identified targe audience. In order to cultivate relationships, LawWithoutWalls kicks off outside of the United States each January at one of the participating schools. It culminates with a ConPosium at Miami Law each April where students present their Projects of Worth alongside leading academics and practitioners.  As a key component to LawWithoutWalls, students participate in Virtual Thought Leader Sessions wherein experts from around the world: 1) share their multidisciplinary perspectives on the needed changes in legal education and practice; and 2) teach professional, team building, idea generation, and entreprenurial skills.

LawWithoutWalls is, among other things, an attempt to eliminate the barriers between faculty and students, business and law, professors and practitioners, education and practice.  It is an exciting and unique opportunity to collaborate across institutions and countries and gain invaluable experience and insight into the world of law and business.  Above all else, LawWithoutWalls engages those with a stake in Law’s future and provides them with a powerful vehicle for innovation and change.